Here’s something a bit different for you!
Around 4 years ago I decided that a good way to further improve my candid, documentary style of wedding photography would be to explore an art form that I’d never really learnt much about before; street photography.
The essence of street photography is capturing humanity, or capturing the result of humanity, in an undisturbed manner. It’s basically exactly what I aim to do with my wedding photography, but in day-to-day life.
Street Photography helps me to hone my skills as a documentary wedding photographer. I can practice capturing real moments unfolding without my input in a way that doesn’t ruin the spontaneity. It’s a genre of photography that I truly love and will continue practising for a long time to come.
If traditional studio work is Classical music, street photography / reportage, documentary photography is Jazz. It’s all about improvising, both reaction and anticipation, capturing the moment. It translates directly to my work as a wedding photographer.
A couple of years back I had booked a trip to London to capture some street photography as part of a long weekend away. There’s nothing better than getting away with no distractions, just me and my camera for 3 days or so.
It just so happened that this coincided with Chinese New Year, which was completely unplanned but a pleasant surprise nonetheless! On my second or third day the celebrations were in full swing but the rain was coming down like nothing I’ve seen before. I was spending the majority of my time shooting street in central London and decide to head to Trafalgar Square to see if I could grab any interesting shots of people taking cover from the horrendous weather.
That’s what I saw.
Brollies. Lots and lots of brollies. Sensible people taking cover under their umbrellas while I was parading around trying to grab a decent picture of the event.
What struck me the most was the vibrant colours of the umbrellas against the dull grey of the typical British sky. I don’t often print my work (much to my shame) but this is one that did make it to print and I’m enjoy looking back on.
Sure, it’s not wedding photography, but it’s a big inspiration for the way that I “look” when I’m keeping an eye out for photographs at a wedding.